Gentlemen’s Club: Wedding couture moves away from the classic suit

Gentlemen’s Club: Wedding couture moves away from the classic suit

By PAYEL MAJUMDAR | | 12 September, 2015
A preview of Manish Malhotra’s menswear collection for Lakme Fashion Week 2015.
Gone are the days when men would have to just show up and say the right name at their weddings. Brides have always had more than enough to keep them busy all year when it comes to wedding prep, but fashion’s been giving the groom some things to think about too. Today, enough designers come out with wedding couture collections for men, influenced by international trends. There is also an army of stylists to help the groom achieve a certain look, from the right haircut to the right pocket square for his cocktail outfit. While many designers concentrate solely on women, there are still some, such as Manish Malhotra, Shantanu and Nikhil, Varun Bahl and Raghavendra Rathore, who have come up with collections that cater especially to men.  
At the Amazon India Couture Week 2015, floral motifs were found on both brides’ and grooms’ couture wear. Anju Modi’s latest men’s wedding couture collection is big on rich, royal colours that are informed by classic royal costumes, in shades of navy blue, purple, and even lighter shades of cream. 
Manish Malhotra, who came up with a special menswear collection for Lakme FashionWeek Winter/Festive 2015, explained how his collection was made for the debonair man, “It’s stylish, cool and contemporary. It has sophisticated charm and is an extension of my couture line. It is a festive fusion of Indian and western couture, focusing on shades of emerald green and adorned with botanical motifs.”
According to fashion designer Neeta Lulla, “Gone are the days when the groom only looked for concentrated embroideries and restricted embellishments on their wedding outfits. Today’s groom is a man with multiple personas. Wedding attire for the grooms has been given a new sensibility, not restricting it to the traditional patterns and designs. ” 
According to fashion designer Neeta Lulla, “Gone are the days when the groom only looked for concentrated embroideries and restricted embellishments on their wedding outfits. Today’s groom is a man with multiple personas. Wedding attire for the grooms has been given a new sensibility, not restricting it to the traditional patterns and designs. ” 
Not everyone is convinced that men have become more colourful and experimental in their wedding wear though. Varun Rana feels that men are still ultimately more conservative than women when choosing their clothes, “I don’t think they are experimenting so much with colours and stick to the conservative blues, blacks and varieties of those. This is not to deny the fact that there are men out there who are willing to try out the odd colourful outfit; at the end of the day, we have never been afraid to wear all kinds of bright colours in this country. I feel what men are doing instead is that they are opting for different silhouettes, and accessorising more that before.”
Sabyasachi’s floral sherwanis at Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2015.Men are unafraid to groom themselves before their wedding, and salons offer multiple options to prepare them. Lulla observed the changing trends of our culture, “The men today have become more fashion-conscious and have a sense of style that is more contemporary and comfortable. The groom’s wedding style should be cultivated from a combination of their hair and ensemble. Their hair should be away from the face, in general. Structured haircuts that are tapered and neat are in vogue nowadays. Unlike women, their hairstyles shouldn’t be messy at all.”
Men suddenly want to stand out too and share some of the limelight that the bride has on their wedding day, and are looking beyond just a three-piece suit. Rana says, “There is a move back to traditional wear such as the achkan, which is rather elaborate, and the sherwani, the jodhpur pants — to show off their traditional side — rather than suits. Apart from the ’50s and ’60s when there was a move back to shirts and pants, we have embraced the fact that we are a colourful, vibrant country when it comes to clothes.” 
Neeta Lulla believes that it has to be a composition of various elements, when it comes to what a groom looks like on the wedding day. “It needs to be focussed on the assorted requisites of the man of today. At the same time, it should adhere to different ambience and styles of the wedding that require specific styling.” 
Tarun Tahiliani is of the opinion that men have switched from wearing suits because there is a back-to-the-grassroots movement running through wedding couture wear right now. Khadi and other woven fabrics are back in demand, while keeping in mind the structured fit so essential to contemporary styles. Tahiliani says, “It is true that the boys now want to look very much the groom, combining the traditional with fine tailoring and fit. It’s unconceivable now to see a groom in a suit at the mandap. Similarly, for the sangeet and puja, Indian wear is gaining much more popularity. The groom has realised his potential, from pared down refinement to ‘complete costumes of Royal India’ chic. He is fit, involved and dancing, as a consequence of morphing into metrosexual Indian males — this is the new India after all.”

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